Thanks again to everyone who came out last week for the seminar! I really enjoyed hearing from you, and hope you were able to take a few nuggets of information back to the job.
As promised, here’s a link to the presentation. Feel free to like, share, and download. There is copyrighted information in the presentation and I am sure the content owners would appreciate reference if any of the information is reused or re-purposed.
Content Marketing & Objectives
Content marketing is a way of generating information to help customers and prospects take action within the customer lifecycle. Understand how various content types and stories can influence the different stages of the customer lifecycle (attract, engage, grow, retain, nurture, reward/refer). In the social media space, content is currency. Yes, it’s King and Queen, too.
When considering content marketing objectives, evaluate the desired ideal state. In other words, what indicators or phrases can you expect someone who has been influenced by your content to do or say.
“I love how easy [company] made the decision process for me by supplying me with ample information to persuade my boss.”
“[Company] continues to share industry trends and analysis with me. I have to share with a colleague – they are looking for a new solution.”
“I had no idea that [product] offered such a robust solution. I’m going to set up a demo for the team tomorrow.”
Content Marketing & Target Audience
Develop a social persona per content platform (blog, website, magazine, Facebook, Linkedin, etc.) that is a detailed version of target audience. Different persona’s may emerge within a platform and/or across content types of customer lifecycle stages. Tie each social persona to a specific stage(s) within the customer lifecycle.
What is in a Social Persona?
- Demographic & psychographic info
- Why am I interacting with the brand/product/company
- Personality and character traits
- Digital behavior (mobile, tech savvy, prefers email over phone calls, etc.)
- “About me” (interests, career details, skills, favorite things, geographic, income level, challenges)
- Life & career goals
- What are my biggest challenges, pressures, questions as they relate to product/brand/service
- Why did I buy/consider/invest/refer in product/brand/service
Don’t forget to name it to claim it! Give your social personas names and ask, “Is this something Social Sydney would say or respond to?” Be sure to include a picture and write their “story” for reference.
Content Marketing & Content
Define the value proposition(s) for the content and content platforms. When developing content, consider a “pillars of content” model that chunks categories of content and is distributed by frequency percentages. Pillars of content strategic document should include content types, frequency, mediums (white papers, short bursts of information, videos, photos, etc.), and the source of the content – what team(s) are responsible for creating the content.
Don’t forget to start small and bring on additional content types and distribution platforms as time permits. Going full on out of the gate almost never wins the race. Build out a strategy for a few content types and one or two distribution platforms and get those running first. Add additional content types and platforms as you are able to scale.
An editorial calendar is a content marketers best friends. Create one that works for you and other key stakeholders. Meet to discuss and share on a regular basis. Take the ABI approach: Always Be Improving!
Content Marketing KPIs
Start with what you can measure up front. Things like clicks, likes, comments, shares, etc. are great numbers to start with. Keep an eye on the competition too and measure what’s available public ally without obsessing over the constant SWOT state. Once you are comfortable with the basics, begin to explore how to measure the impact on other business objectives such as lead generation, referrals, % increase in inbound traffic from referring sites, average affinity, impact on customer retention, engagement, time on page, time to conversion, etc. Invest in tools that help manage the content and associated metrics.
Looking Beyond the Numbers
There are critical business questions to keep in mind when evaluating content marketing success. The numbers are important, especially as they relate to the bottom line business objectives. But also in the bottom line business objectives considerations are things like being financially responsible, efficiency, influence, etc. Continue to ask and evaluate things like:
- Is my community(s) made up of the target audience?
- How are conversations being shared and influencing others?
- Is the community reviewing the content converting within the customer lifecycle?
- How active is the community?
- Are communities growing at efficiently, both from a cost and resources perspective?
Finally, just get out and do it already! Chances are, you’ve already been managing content from a marketing and/or PR perspective. Take it to the next level by tying content activities to bottom line business objectives and results. You CAN do it!
My list of totally awesome resources:
Content Marketing Institute
Social Media Examiner
Brian Solis (Surprise!) http://www.briansolis.com
Online Marketing Summit
Social Media Today
SmartBrief on Social Media